DOH looks for ‘sound basis’ to continue benefits for health workers with COVID-19

Department of Health is now finding ways to continue giving compensation for health workers who died or severely ill of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) after the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act lapsed last month.

In a press briefing on Thursday, DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the health department wanted to continue the compensation for health workers but cannot do so until there is a “sound basis” in the form of a law.

The Bayanihan law, which lapsed on June 24, mandates PHP1 million death compensation for the families of healthcare workers who died from Covid-19. Those who got severely ill while on duty would also get PHP100,000 compensation.

“Humahanap din tayo ng ibang avenue kaya tayo nakikipag-discuss sa iba’t ibang ahensiya na hindi lamang sa Bayanihan to Heal As One Act pwede no, baka naman pwede tayo makakuha o makipag-usap, sa tinitingnan na natin ngayon sa mga GSIS and the other agencies which can provide this basis, also to continue on providing compensation to these health workers na namatay o ‘di kaya ay naging severe or critical (We’re also searching for other avenues so we’re having discussions with other agencies, not just through Bayanihan to Heal As One Act. We might be able to get [help] or talk with GSIS and the other agencies which can provide this basis, also to continue on providing compensation to these health workers who died or have gone severe or critical),” Vergeire said.

Vergeire said the 34th Covid-19 death among healthcare workers is a barangay health worker in the National Capital Region.

To date, the DOH said about 3,422 healthcare workers were infected with Covid-19. Of the total number of cases, only one or .03 percent is severely ill and there is no health worker in critical condition. (By Ma. Teresa Montemayor, PNA)

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